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SpeciesA History of the Idea$
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John Wilkins and Daniel Doak

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780520260856

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520260856.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021



(p.1) Prologue

John S. Wilkins

University of California Press

This book traces some of the main pre-biology and early biology historical accounts of species, beginning in the Western tradition with Plato and Aristotle. The essentialist view derived from Plato and Aristotle held that a species is differentiated out of a larger class or genus by a set of necessary traits all members possess. Charles Darwin and his successors held the generative conception of species, in which species are found to be populations without essences, but with common ancestry.

Keywords:   species, Plato, Aristotle, essentialist view, genus, Charles Darwin, generative conception, essences

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